Recipe for energy saving unravelled in migratory birds
May 14, 2008 08:38 AM - Public Library of Science

Pointed wings together with carrying less weight per wing area and avoidance of high winds and atmospheric turbulence save a bird loads of energy during migration. This has been shown for the first time in free-flying wild birds by researchers at Princeton University, the University of Montana, and the German Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. They state in PLoS ONE’s May 14th edition that climate change might have a critical impact on small migrants’ energy budgets if it causes higher winds and atmospheric instability as predicted.

Shrimps see beyond the rainbow
May 14, 2008 08:34 AM - Public Library of Science

A Swiss marine biologist and an Australian quantum physicist have found that a species of shrimp from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, can see a world invisible to all other animals. Dr Sonja Kleinlogel and Professor Andrew White have shown that mantis shrimp not only have the ability to see colours from the ultraviolet through to the infrared, but have optimal polarisation vision — a first for any animal and a capability that humanity has only achieved in the last decade using fast computer technology. The findings are published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Inventor, Engineering Students Explore New Type Of Solar Collectors
May 12, 2008 09:29 AM - Rowan University

There’s a lot of energy in the College of Engineering at Rowan University, Glassboro, N.J., these days, and it doesn’t have anything to do with 20-year-olds cramming for finals. The energy in this case involves a team of students led by chemical engineering associate professor Dr. Kevin Dahm working with a local inventor to advance a new solar thermal collector the inventor designed. The engineering students pointed out that this is the first truly new solar thermal system in more than three decades, and the company stated that it is unique among renewable energy technologies as it is cost effective without any government subsidies.

Enzyme-coated plastic could mean self-cleaning fabrics
May 12, 2008 08:29 AM - New Scientist

A way to attach a coating of 'live' enzymes onto plastic and other materials could lead to clothes that digest stains as soon as they occur, or kitchen surfaces able to kill bacteria. US researchers have shown they can make plastic films containing active enzymes like those in biological clothes detergents. The process used is based on one typically used to produce thin, flat plastic products such as CDs, DVDs and flat-screen displays.

Renault seen investing up to $1 bln in electric car
May 11, 2008 08:37 AM - Reuters

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - The head of an Israeli-backed electric car project estimated on Sunday that its partner, the Renault-Nissan alliance, would likely invest $500 million to $1 billion in the swappable-battery electric cars. "This is the cost for a three-year car program," Shai Agassi, the founder and chief executive of California-based Project Better Place, said on the sidelines of a news conference to introduce the electric car prototype.

Dying bats in the Northeast remain a mystery
May 9, 2008 09:22 AM - United States Geological Survey

Investigations continue into the cause of a mysterious illness that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of bats since March 2008. At more than 25 caves and mines in the northeastern U.S, bats exhibiting a condition now referred to as “white-nosed syndrome” have been dying. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently issued a Wildlife Health Bulletin, advising wildlife and conservation officials throughout the U.S. to be on the lookout for the condition known as “white-nose syndrome” and to report suspected cases of the disease.

Hello Kitty Harnesses the Power of the Sun
May 9, 2008 09:16 AM - , Triple Pundit

The tech blogosphere has been aflutter this week with the next, biggest thing to change our lives. Well, perhaps the lives of millions of pre-teens across the world. The Hello Kitty Solar Charger. Fresh after last year’s release of the Hello Kitty space heater, this nearly 6”x 6”x 3” contraption can recharge your iPod, Blackberry, or any other portable electronic device with a USB plug. The charger also has a DC battery for those unfortunate moments when sunlight just isn’t cutting it (a typical solar charge takes 6 hours while a DC charge takes 1).

Sahara dried out slowly, not abruptly: study
May 9, 2008 06:11 AM - Reuters

The once-green Sahara turned to desert over thousands of years rather than in an abrupt shift as previously believed, according to a study on Thursday that may help understanding of future climate changes. And there are now signs of a tiny shift back towards greener conditions in parts of the Sahara, apparently because of global warming, said the lead author of the report about the desert's history published in the journal Science.

University research contributes to global warming
May 8, 2008 08:39 AM - University of Montreal

Add university research to the long list of human activities contributing to global warming. Hervé Philippe, a Université de Montréal professor of biochemistry, is a committed environmentalist who found that his own research produces 44 tonnes of CO2 per year. The average American citizen produces 20 tonnes.

Petrify, liquefy: new ways to bury greenhouse gas
May 8, 2008 06:58 AM - Reuters

Turn greenhouse gases to stone? Transform them into a treacle-like liquid deep under the seabed? The ideas may sound like far-fetched schemes from an alchemist's notebook but scientists are pursuing them as many countries prepare to bury captured greenhouse gases in coming years as part of the fight against global warming.

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